Jun 28, 2013

How to educate your children about spending and budgeting

As a parent you will always want the best for your child . A major part of them leading a happy life as an adult involves them being responsible, which is why teaching them about spending and budgeting is so crucial.

Chances are that your child will listen eagerly if you try to tell them something about their favourite football club or celebrity, but if you turn the conversation to the importance of being financially responsible, then you will get an eye-roll, huff, or perhaps even a straight exit from the room. It is not an easy topic to broach because on the face of it budgeting is not fun.

Money is, without doubt, what makes the world go round - it is not the most important thing in it, but it definitely drives people forward - and the sooner your children get the hang of how to look after their finances, the sooner they will be able to achieve what they want. Also remember that it doesn’t always have to be the parent that talks money with children - Grandparents can help to reinforce the importance for their grandchildren to save and can even consider opening up an account to save for their grandchildren too.  

Essentially, what you are trying to do is show your child that spending all the money they have in their hand is not the most effective way of doing things. Instead, what you would like to instil is the idea that they will benefit from putting some money aside - but at the same time that it is fine to sometimes spend money spontaneously .

On the one hand, you want your child to be sensible enough with their money to be able to save up for larger and more significant things in life (car, holiday, home, university etc.) without needing to rely on credit, while also ensuring that they are relaxed enough to spend a bit of cash when they believe it will make them happy - on a nice new garment of clothing, perhaps.

So what can you do to encourage this mentality? It starts with being a role model to them by putting money aside yourself - whether in a conventional savings account, savings plan or a pension. If they see that you don't splash all your cash as soon as you are paid, then they are more likely to avoid doing the same.

The other main thing you can do is give your children experience of money when they are young. Without putting a price on everything (you want them to retain their childhood innocence as long as possible) you can now and again talk to them about how much something costs - and also ensure they have an allowance.

Your Child
Depending on what kind of personality your child has, they may either spend their childhood splurging all their cash as soon as they get it, or simply hoarding all the money they ever get - or they could be somewhere in between. Making mistakes while they are young means that you can talk to them about how they could have done things differently to achieve a different result.

When you can sense your child is keen to buy something then you can put forward some ideas of how they could go about purchasing the item in question. Leveraging their desire to have object X, you can come up with a plan; in this way, you can subtly introduce the concept of budgeting.

*Brand journalist Lauren Sutton is an in-house writer for UK family savings provider Foresters Friendly Society. Read more financial savings tips on Twitter @ForestersFriend

Our 11-Year-Old Toy Giraffe

Orange You Glad It's Friday

This is our 11-year-old toy giraffe. We don't have a name for it. It was given as gift by one of the Basti's godparents when he was baptized. It was Basti's first, then Sam's and then Simon's. I am hoping to keep this in good condition for my children's children. As you can see, it got a few scratches already. I need to make sure that it is preserved well.

Have a great weekend, everyone! 
To see more delightful oranges, 
please click on the OYGIF badge at the top of the post.

Four Money Saving Birthday Party Tips

Birthday parties can be costly, whether you are planning a first birthday party, 50th birthday party, or any in between; there are a lot of details that have to be ironed out. Most which cost money!

For children, they will remember playing with their friends, eating cake and opening presents. Kids are quite easy to please, which is great for the wallet! If you are on a tight budget, here are a few pointers for planning and executing a birthday party.

#1 Do It Yourself

Even if you are not a baker, artist and/or creative, you can still make a cake or cupcakes yourself! If you want to make a cake from scratch, your best bet is to research recipes on the Internet. Otherwise, buy a cheap box of cake mix from the store and follow the directions on the box. Even easier, buy cupcake wrappers and make cupcakes for everyone!

If there is a pattern or theme that your child likes, see if you can find some images to print, purchase some card stock and print pictures to hang on the wall at home for decoration. If you want to make cupcake sticks, just use the card stock and print out a bunch of the same pictures. Then cut them out and glue or tape them on to a tooth pick. The kids are just going to pull them out of the cupcake anyway, so may as well make them to look cute in a budget friendly way.

#2 Have Joint Birthday Parties

If you have more than one child with a birthday around the same time, combine the two parties to save money. Let each child invite four or five friends so it does not get too overwhelming and come up with some activities for them to do either at your house or at the venue where you are having the party.

If you have a child in school or know of a family member that is having a party, see if you can split the cost with the other person and have a joint party.

#3 Keep it Simple

There is no need to go overboard for a birthday party, as long as you have snacks, drinks and cake, I am sure your guests will be content.

If you are planning on hosting the party in your home the following foods could be offered:
  • Chips and Dip
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Tossed Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Ziti
  • Pizza
  • Soda, water and juice boxes
Of course, you can plan your menu as you choose, however, it will be less stressful (and budget friendly) if you keep it simple.

You could also have the party at an off time so you do not have to provide a meal to anyone, but snacks and cupcakes and/or cake are sufficient. If you have a get together in the summer time you could have the kids arrive at 1:30 PM, serve snacks and let them play outside for a bit, then have cake or cupcakes and open presents.

Kids also like games, a few games that are perfect for little ones at a birthday party include:
  • Pin the tail on the donkey
  • Water balloon toss
  • Musical chairs
  • Piñata
If you are saving in another area, such as having the party at an off time to save from purchasing a meal, if you have a little extra in the budget to buy a piñata, the kids would love it and the candy would be the party favor as well!

#4 Do Your Research

It may be cheaper, and easier, for you to have the birthday party at a location other than your home. Places such as sports complexes, bowling alleys, children’s entertainment and fun centers like Chuck E Cheese and Laser Quest, often host birthday parties at a package cost. Many places will offer an all-inclusive package deal for you so you do not have to purchase anything extra. If you are going to go this route, it will save you time and stress from having to clean up your house before and after, but definitely search for a coupon to use to potentially cut costs.

Many times, this route may actually be cheaper because when adding up all of the costs from what is needed for a home birthday party.

#5 Purchase Party Favors and Supplies at a Discount

Online sites, such as Oriental Trading or the Dollar Store Direct offer party supply options at a cheaper price.  You can also sign up to receive e-mails at the party store websites and on occasion they send out coupons to use on party supplies!

If the party is in the summer time and at your house, if you have a sand box you could purchase sand toys from the dollar store, get letter stickers, and personalize the sand toys with the child’s names. They can play with their sand toys in the sand box and in the end; you’ll know what belongs to which child because their names will be on the toys. The sand toys would double as their party favor and if you want to offer something else to go along with that, maybe a candy bar would suffice.

No matter what you decide to do, just remember, it is only one day, for a few hours so don’t over spend. Set a budget and stick to it!

*Nikki Muroski is a mommy of three, a wife and a blogger for her site, Nickel-and-Diming with Nikki. She is also a regular contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.

Jun 27, 2013

ABC Wednesday: X

 I have nothing to show for letter X. Only three letters to go before I complete this edition of ABC Wednesday and I'm stuck at the letter X. It has been eXtremely difficult to find inspirations for this letter. I've spent eXcruciating hours looking for photos but without success. OK, I'm eXaggerating, haha. It's not as eXcruciating. The good thing that came out of this eXperience is that I was able to organize my photos in my drives according to year and events. I didn't even know some of the older photos still eXist

I have this photo of an orchid, which I thought would pass for a Xylobium. But after further analysis, it might not be a xylobium after all. Anyway, might as well share this. 

My seven-year-old and my four-year-old love to arrange things to make it look like the letters of the alphabet and take a picture of them. This is an old photo from last year. 

I wish I could find some photos of the X-ray that my son had gone through the last year. But that would only bring up more anXiety. :) I wish I have photos of X-Men, one of my kids' favorite movies. And I'm too lazy to dig up the details of my favorite series ever, the X-Files. :) 
Well, that is it for now. This is my lame post for the letter X, LOL. Till neXt week, have a great weekend everyone. I hope yours will be an eXciting one!

Jun 26, 2013

Baby Bedding At New Arrival Inc.

My mother will be visiting us this July. Her main purpose in coming to Manila is not to see us, but to be by my sister-in-law's side when SIL gives birth. Yes, we will have a new addition to the family! We are truly excited because the youngest grandchild in our family is Simon who's now four. It's about time we have a new star in the family who will be the center of attention during family gatherings and meet-ups. 

The arrival of the new baby prompted me to check on the boys' baby clothes. There still some that looks brand new that the new baby could use. I would have to let go of all the others, because they're not in good condition anymore. We would have to scout baby bedding and look for a sturdy crib though. We have none of those anymore. Most probably, the mom-to-be, my SIL will source locally but I can't help but look online. I'm sure my brother looked online, too. We are too involved in the online world to do otherwise. 

I found this website that is based in the US that really makes sourcing for baby bedding a pleasurable experience. Of course, I won't be able to buy from them because I'm not the one who's going to have a baby anyway. But friends in the US would also love this site, I'm sure. If you're in the US and are about to have a baby, why not drop by New Arrivals Inc? New Arrivals Inc. has a wide selection of baby bedding that all parents would love. The designs are Pinterest-perfect (if you know what I mean, lol), both stylish and pleasing to the eyes of adults and kids alike. They also have wall letters for the baby room wall and other decors to accessorize your kids' rooms. What I love most about this store is that you can customize your baby's bedding.  You can choose by prize, by monograms, put in your child's initial and choose from a lot of other options. Shopping for bedding, wall decors and accessories for your kids' room is easy as 1-2-3 at New Arrivals Inc.

Jun 25, 2013

Health Watch: Diabetes Calculator For Kids from NCH

I stumbled upon this new Diabetes Calculator For Kids from the Nationwide Children's Hospital while listening to PediaCast, a pediatric podcast for parents. We don't have any kids in the family who have diabetes. But I thought, it'd be good to share this with my dear readers who might find this helpful. 

 The Diabetes Calculator For Kids is the first online app to help families calculate insulin dosages ahead of time. By going through the 5 easy steps, parents, caregivers and patients can create individualized chart that calculates the correct insulin dosage that should be given prior to eating.

So if any of you have kids or friends who are diabetic, please share this post with them or head on over to the Nationwide Children's webpage for more information.

Five Things That Inspire Me

This is my entry to:

What are the five things that inspire me? 

1. My kids - 
Everyday, when I look at them, I feel blessed and thankful that I am chosen to be a mom. Motherhood has changed me in a lot of ways. It has taught me to care, to believe, to have a little more faith and to be strong. Everyday, I am inspired to work harder so I can give them even the little things, the finer things in life, even the things doesn't really matter but will make them happy. Because seeing them happy makes me happy.

2. My hubby - 
My hubby has a very kind heart. He's works hard for us. He doesn't swear, he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke. He's into clean and green living. Although, more often than not I fail, I always try to be like him, strive to be like him and be more health conscious not only for my sake, but for the sake of my kids.

 3. My parents -
 My parents are very independent people who never ask for anything. They support themselves and are always there to help their children. Their children are still kids to them even if we're old enough already to take care of ourselves.

4. Nature -
 The flowers, the plants, the trees, the sky, the plants, the clouds, the mountains, the beaches and even the rain, and most especially the moon reminds of God's presence in our lives, of his wonderful creativity and love for his creations.

5. Our OFWs -
 I cannot imagine living without my hubby and my kids beside me. I am inspired and have huge respect to those who work abroad, for their sacrifices and everything else that they need to endure in foreign land. They always remind me to be thankful of what I have and endure the tough things in life because other people are enduring more difficult situations in life.

Want to join this giveaway? Click on the badge above for a chance to win lots of prizes!

Jun 24, 2013

Potentilla Room Diffuser


A few weeks ago, I ordered a bottle of Potentilla Room Diffuser online. I was meaning to order one for months but I keep forgetting and there are way too many things on my to-buy list for the kids to squeeze in the Potentilla for myself. I have heard and read great reviews about their scents. I decided to finally buy and try it out to see if indeed those reviews are true. Plus, I took advantage of the free shipping. 

 I bought the Pink Grapefruit scent, 60 ml, for only P299 or roughly $7. It's supposed to stay fragrant for 30 days. And it includes 4 wooden diffuser reeds. I forgot that I'm not a fruity-scent person, so I was quite overwhelmed with the fragrance at first. The scent traveled from the sala downstairs and to the rooms upstairs and sister came down the stairs with a smile on her face. Which is something, because she's not an easy person to please and impress (peace, sister). The scent grew on me and even with the kids, and it's relaxing and calming. 

It was delivered on a Saturday with the house next door being painted and I can't tell you enough how relieved I am to have this Potentilla diffuser beside me on that particular day. The bottle is just 60ml but I managed to give some portion of the liquid to Mama Tess (my kids' favorite person) who really love the smell and some to my in-laws. Plus, I had the four diffuser reeds distributed around the house -- one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, one in near stairs leading to the room upstairs and one in the sala.

The pink grapefruit scent may not be the variant that some people would like, but it really depends on your preference. The house really smells clean with it. I will try to buy the sampler sets next time so I can pick which one really is for me and the kids. They have also Thai Spa, Fresh Cut Grass, Tea Party,Ginger Green, and White Antibes. We love our Potentilla Room Diffuser!

*This is not a sponsored post. I just really love the product. Visit them at their website  or at Facebook to know more.

Jun 22, 2013

Lazy Saturday

Today, we were supposed to go to a dental appointment with the kids. But we cancelled it. I'm having back pains again and I wouldn't want to increase the risk of aggravating my condition by going out and commuting. It's going to be a lazy Saturday for us, with the kids watching their favorite movies, hubby cooking his specialty (spaghetti) and me working on my transcription when I'm up to it. 

It's supposed to be a busy weekend with all sorts of household activities lined up -- dentist's appointment, laundry, dishes, and more importantly, house cleaning. I'd been spring-cleaning since January and not yet done until now. I don't know if I'll ever get done. I'm just glad that there are no more rats in the house or else that would be something that I'd be worrying about right now. I was about to use pest control chemicals in the house, but good thing, the two rats who had been visiting us died because of the poison trap I set up last week. Our house is now rat-free.

The laundry and the house cleaning would have to wait. The household tasks are overwhelming me during weekends. During the weekdays, it is not so bad because I have someone who helps me.

For now, since it's a lazy Saturday, we'll just try to enjoy this day with some quality time with the kids. How about you? How's your weekend so far?

Jun 21, 2013

First Week Of School

Sam and Simon on their way to school, it's PE Friday!
At last, it's Friday! I survived the first week of school! I have three young school kids now, with Simon in preschool, Sam in the second grade and Basti in sixth grade. The kids did great and breezed through the week with flying colors.

I'm so happy with the way the kids behaved the first week of school. We spent afternoons doing assignments. Nobody misbehaved during the entire week. After assignments, we cut card boards to make war tanks, or helmets, or just draw birds and cut them from the card boards and they will soar in every which direction the kids imagination take them. We slept early most days and those time we slept really late, the kids still woke up early. Nobody  resisted getting dressed for school. We did not have a hard time waking them up. Also, we went back to reading before going to bed, which the kids lost interest in during the summer vacation.

Simon comes home everyday with stars stamped on his hands. Sam is also doing great based on what I'm seeing on his workbooks but doesn't have stars because "they're big now, they don't need the stars.":D

Yesterday, nobody even wanted to go on the computer. The two younger ones just played their imaginary Duck Life birds and draw ducks after ducks after ducks. I don't know how long this obsession with ducks will run.

Kuya Basti, meanwhile, practiced strumming his guitar instead of playing his online games. Wow, that was a first! Two days ago, his classmate (who has an expensive guitar whose design is a lot like a new fender jazzmaster) went to our house and practiced with Basti. I'm sure it's not a Fender Jazzmaster though, that would be too much for a child. I'm glad Basti has a strumming buddy now. I could hear them discussing and arguing over some techniques that their respective tutors taught. 

Overall, it was a great week for us. The kids, especially the two younger ones said they are happy and the teachers are kind to them. I hope this continues on the whole year.

I am thankful for the chance to be with my kids everyday. I am thankful for hubby who's working hard to give his children a good education. I am thankful for the help I'm getting from family members in my daily tasks. I am thankful for online opportunities and for the active online community that I have. How about you, what are you thankful for?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Jun 20, 2013

Dalandan for Me

Orange You Glad It's Friday

I was not feeling well last week due to colds. I was surprised to find these dalandan or Philippine oranges on the dining table.

Hubby said he bought them for me. When he and the kids went to my in-laws and I was all alone in the house, I juiced them and drank to my heart's content.When he came home, he was asking about them. Turns out, he wants some of them for himself because he's not feeling well, too. Poor hubby, I didn't even notice. He had to wait till the next morning to buy some again.

My Mother's Cakes and My Father's Oven: All Homemade

My mother texted me and said that she'll be coming over to Manila this July. I wish she'll bring some of her freshly baked cakes. She used to bake a lot when we were kids. We had sponge cakes almost every day for meryenda. Of course, she did not bake every day. But every time she did, the cake would be so big, there'd be leftover for days and we're forced to eat them. When I came to Manila, I began to appreciate more the cakes my mother bakes. The cakes here are so expensive and yet not as delicious as my mother's cakes. OK, I'm biased but my mother's cakes were cooked with a dash of love (and lots of eggs), so that's why they're yummier

My father on the other hand, for the love of cakes and baked goods (or for the love of my mom), made his very own electric oven out of scrap. See, a home-made oven, haha. My mother, the wanna-be seamstress, great baker and my father, the inventor-electrician-carpenter and full-time miner, what a pair! I wonder where the oven is right now, if it needs a good oven repair or if it's gone for good. I have good memories of that homemade oven. I remember the smell coming from it during Christmases, New Years and birthdays. I remember the warmth coming from it, too.

Someday, I want to have an large oven of my own. But right now, it's not feasible with the house we live in, with the budget we have, with the space we have, and with me not knowing how to use it.:D For now, I'll start with a microwave.:D

Jun 19, 2013

Games Wii Play

It was in early January when hubby bought a Wii Sports console for the boys. He bought it from his best buddy at the office at half-price. It is brand new and haven't been used since hubby's friend already has two from his relatives in the US. My dear husband said that if the kids can't go outside to play, at least they can play the Wii and not just sit down in front of the computer all day long when they're off from school or during weekends. It was a hit with the kids. They love to play golf, bowling, boxing and baseball with it.

I ask myself often if Wii is good for kids. I tried to find resources online that would say it is not good for kids. I haven't found any yet. Based on what I'm seeing from the kids when they're playing, I think it is good for them. It helps to keep them active. They perspire when they play, which for me is a good thing, like exercising. They connect with each other more, they cheer each other on whenever one of them is playing. They can play together in multi-player games and they have fun customizing their Avatars.

We started from Wii Sports, then went to Wario Smooth Moves (which I love), Carnival, and last is the Dragon Ball Z for my eldest son. For now, the Wii is on vacation, since school has just started in this part of the world. And also, we need to buy new games, which we need to save up for since it's expensive to buy here.

Meanwhile, I found this article,"Is the Wii Really Good for Your Health?" from TIME which highlights the benefits of using Wii based on studies.

Hope you're having a great week! Enjoy the rest of the week!

Jun 18, 2013

My Postcards

My very first postcard, from my fabulous friend at Weirton, West Virginia! Thanks Rose!
One of the things that's giving me joy these days is looking at my stash of postcards. There are just a few but every time I look at them, they make me happy. Thinking that someone has me on their mind and made the effort to go to the post office to mail me that postcard gives me that feeling that I am special. I am thankful to the people who sent me these postcards.

 This postcard of Fort San Pedro reminds me always of the time I was in Cebu about ten years ago on a business trip with my Japanese boss. Thanks, sis Vix!

 This postcard came as a surprise and I love it! This is a Chinese garden. The sender is an amazingly intelligent and witty woman working in Taiwan. Thanks, Lyn!

And this one of the Masskara Festival is my favorite because of its vibrant colors. Thanks, Shengkay!

All this talk of postcards leads me to wonder on how these postcards are made. I was wondering because my brother is a photographer and he has some really great nature shots. It would be great to have those shots of different places in the Philippines made into postcards if he'll allow it. We would have to find a company who offers excellent wholesale offset printing for that.

This is one of my brother's shots. What do you think? You can find him on his Facebook page, TheWeddingProjects. 

Pagudpod {By TheWeddingProjects and RodelValiente Photography}

Simon's First Day of School

Yesterday was Simon's first day of school. The little man was so happy to be going to school finally. He was all smiles as he made his way to school. 

I've sent two other kids to school, I was equally excited for them but I was also jittery both times. With Simon, there was no jitters. This little man is so ready. And I have no jitters for this one because I am at peace with the school. He and Sam, my second, are schoolmates and I know the teachers really well already. There is only a few number of students, also. We dropped him off to school and left him there. Our Mama Tess fetch the Kuya Sam and Simon afterwards.

And above is his first ever school work. He can already write the letters of the alphabet and his name. Of course, with his name, he had to have to copy, but I think he did pretty well. I am so proud of my youngest son.

This week's theme at Kids in Doodles  is about how you spent your last days of summer. But our summer is so boring I have nothing to write about, haha, except quality time during walks around the neighborhood and DVD marathon watching. So I decided to write our first day of school instead. Do visit Kids In Doodles by clicking on the badge above and tell us how you spent your last days of summer or anything that's going on with you and your kids lives. We'd love to hear from you!

Jun 17, 2013

Raising Money for the UNICEF Syria Crisis Appeal Fund

If you're part of a youth group, church, boys club, girls club or college group who wants to raise money for a worthy charity in need, consider the Unicef Syria crisis appeal fund. Unicef is working to raise money for Syrian children who are refugees. Refugee children are typically without clean food and water, as well as necessities such as clothing, blankets and even toys. This crisis fund is designed to help provide basic nutritional foods, as well as clean water, educational opportunities and household items to families who have lost everything they own. This fund accepts donations in any increment. While the website suggests a donation of $50, $100 or even $200 to go toward specific needs, the truth is that any dollar amount can make a huge difference to a family in need. That said, this organization is a great charity to raise money for especially as a group. 

What better way to spend your summer months than working together to raise money for children in need? Something as little as $50 can provide families with blankets and other household goods they have lost while fleeing their homes. Raising money can be easier than you might think. For example, your group could offer a parent's night out. Offer babysitting for a few hours one Saturday night. Let parents drop their children off at the church while they have a date night. Accept donations as payment or charge a minimal, reasonable fee for babysitting. Make sure the parents know exactly what you're raising money for and you may find that they are incredibly generous with their donations. 

Another way to raise money is the tried-and-true bake sale, but make sure you consider the recent diet kicks that many parents, especially mothers, may be following. Instead of offering cookies and brownies, offer fresh fruits, granola bars or even yogurt cups during your sale. Cold bottles of water are also a great selling point especially if you're holding your sale on a cold summer day. List a suggested donation amount for each item but again, make sure you state what you're raising money for and you may find that parents are especially generous and willing to give a little extra for.

Jun 15, 2013

Manila WAHMs, Join Us at WAHMeo: Brand and Build Your Online Business!

Attention, Manila Moms! Do you want to create and launch a successful online business? Or do you already have your own online shop or store? Do you want to strengthen and elevate your business's brand and online positioning?

Yes? Yes? Yes? Then, this workshop is for you! Mark your calendar on July 27th, 2013.

Topics include:
  • Why WAHMs are built to succeed online : The truths (and research) behind why moms are wired to create businesses for themselves online
  • Business planning for WAHMeo's : Business planning that marries your lifestyle to your business
  • Tools of the trade : Taxes, Business registration, and the other "nitty gritties" of running an online business
  • Branding and your business : Finding the sweet spot between what you're great at and what will make people buy from you!
  • How to setup your own Wordpress ecommerce store : Wordpress is the king of all platforms (in our opinion).

Speakers include:

Martine De Luna: Director of The WAHMderful Life, an inspirational business suite comprising a blog and live training events for work-at-home mothers; author of DaintyMom.com, Best Home and Parenting Blog at the 2011 Philippine Blog Awards; runs Martinedeluna.com, a boutique consulting service.

Ginger Palma Arboleda: Graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific; former account executive for popular advertising agencies, Chinese food franchise store Managing Director, universal bank's Product Manager and a Product Development Manager.  Now, a Mompreneur handling her own business, Manila Workshops and professional blogger for ManilaReviews.com, ManilaFitness.com and MommyGinger.com.

Fitz Gerard Villafuerte: Author of Ready To Be Rich (www.fitzvillafuerte.com), the Best Business and Finance Blog -- Philippine Blog Awards; entrepreneur, owns and manages an online store Blogger shirts (www.bloggershirts.com) and microjob marketplace, 199Jobs (www.199jobs.com). 

Marge Aberasturi: Self-made, online entrepreneur and veteran work-at-home mom; owner of virtual assistance business, VA Support Pro, a comprehensive business solutions boutique. 
Jayme Gatbonton: Transformational trainor, NLP facilitator, college educator, and WordPressWeb developer; Chief Inspiration Officer of Optimommy, a business that seeks to empower moms to become intentional parents and happier women; Blogs at Optimommy.com.


Teresa Rufino: Owner and proprietor of Babies to Toddlers.com, an online boutique featuring rare finds for infants to preschoolers

Catherine Uy Dy: Owner of  popular Bebe Chic line of stylish diaper bags, the Milk Wear brand of baby apparel, and the owner of Chubby Cheeks Baby.

For more details of this event and on how to register, please visit: MANILA WORKSHOP'S site or at WAHMDERFULLIFE's page.

Health Watch: BP Monitors

my mother-in-law's digital bp monitor
 Blood pressure monitors or sphygmomanometers are a must-have in our family. Hubby and relatives on his side of the family all are prone to high blood pressure. My father's blood pressure, I think because of old age, also spikes up every now and then. That is why when I accumulated some reward points in my previous company a few years back when I was still working as a call center agent, the first thing I did was to trade those points for blood pressure monitors.

I bought one for my mother-in-law and one for my father. And it was one of the best purchases I've ever made, although not with cash but with reward points. I wonder how much sphygmomanometer prices are now in the market. I wouldn't have been able to buy one intentionally if not for those reward points. 

My father lives in the province, in the mountains, kilometers away from town and it brings me a little bit of peace of mind that my mother and he can monitor his pressure everyday on their own. There is also a community nurse a few houses away from my parents' house.

Jun 12, 2013

VitaPops, Vitamins, Verses and Other Blessings


V stands for the first letter of my middle name, which means valiant in the English language. Valiant means "possessing or showing courage or determination". And how my grandfather lived up to that name! They say he was a Katipunero, one of the brave Filipinos who stood up and fought against the Spanish soldiers in the long war that ended the 350 years of Spanish rule. And today, here in the Philippines, we are celebrating our Independence Day. Viva Filipinas! Mabuhay, Pilipinas!

V also stands for very good. (Lolz) And the merry month of May had been a very good month to me. Blessings came pouring in forms of non-stop transcription work, sponsored posts, and giveaway prizes. I am so thankful for all the blessings that I received in May.

For the second time in 2013, I won a package of  VitaPops (the vitamin C that fizzle and pop) and Ceelin Plus Vitamins from the very generous Unilab. The first time I won was in January and you can see my post about that here.  This time, at the last moment, I joined Mommy Tetcha of Pensive Thoughts giveaway when I saw it posted at the Manila Work-At-Home-Mom Facebook group. I wanted to give my support and decided to join another giveaway of hers, the Nescafe 3-in-1 Mini Giveaway  since I'm already on the site. 

And what do you know? I won both giveaways! Isn't that the weirdest thing ever? I feel like I'm the luckiest person on earth. For a moment, I just wanted to take one prize only and just give the other one to other giveaway contestants. In the end, with the persuasion of some family members, I took both prizes and shared the vitamins with people I know who have kids and have a tight budget and won't be able to put vitamins on their grocery list.  As they say, share your blessings. 


And another thing that made us very happy this May is this Bible Verse certificate. I won this from Liz of Devoted Mommy of 3 and Bible Verse.Org in March. It took a long while to get to us, maybe because of postal issues but finally we got it last May. We had it framed and it look good sitting beside our family pictures and whatnot's. Corresponding to each letter in our family name is a two-line verse taken from the Bible. This, I think, is a great gift idea to families.


And last, but not the least, I won a P1,500 (approx. $37) worth of SM School Savers Gift Certificate from Cheska Layug, the Modern Filipina Mom giveaway!  Isn't that awesome? I have yet to claim the prize but I'm excited to take my kids to shop for more school supplies.

Update: It's here! We're so ready to go shopping for bags and accessories! Thanks Cheska!

With these blessings that came in the month of May, I say Vlessings instead of blessings for more emphasis. I am so thankful for all of these and I want to thank all the sponsors of these giveaways and as well, of course, these beautiful mommy bloggers for the time and effort and resources they gave to their giveaways.

I also want to thank the good people of the ABC Wednesday team for always visiting and commenting. I've enjoyed my very first edition of ABC Wednesday and I've read so many good blogs through this meme. I always look forward to my Wednesdays with you guys. Three to go and we're done and I'll sure be in the next round. 

That's it! A long post, a lot of thank you's but definitely worth the time to write it. Enjoy the rest of the week everyone, and I hope you can comment on what you're thankful for this week!

A Tray of Colors at Manila Seedling Bank #3

Flowers at Manila Seedling Bank : December 2012
I had a hard time finding out what the name of these plants are. I searched in Google Images but none of the image results came close. So I did an advanced search and put in the word 'succulent' because that's what the leaves look like. And voila, I found an article in the Flower Shop Network.com that has an image that is very similar to the above and the plant is said to be a  purslane or Portulaca grandiflora or rose moss.

I hope I'm right. Anyone else know what this is? I'd certainly appreciate any comments.

Linking this up to

Jun 5, 2013

ABC Wednesday: UP Oblation

Replica of the original Oblation.The original is at the Main Library of UP Diliman campus.
This is the Oblation, a statue found in every campus of the University of the Philippines. It is the university's symbol and was designed by Filipino Artist Guillermo Tolentino. The statue of the man naked and with arms stretched outward signifies selfless offering to the country. The original sculpture measures 3.5 meters symbolizing 350 years of Spanish rule. If you look at it closely, the genitals is covered with a fig leaf, but the original was completely naked. 

The making of the statue was conceived during the UP presidency of Rafael Palma and dedicated on March 1939 at the UP Manila campus. The conceptualization was based on the second stanza of National Hero Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios, which reads:
"In fields of battle, deliriously fighting, Others give you their lives, without doubt, without regret; here there’s cypress, laurel or lily, On a plank or open field, in combat or cruel martyrdom, If the home or country asks, it's all the same--it matters not."
 This is how the statue was described by the artist, Tolentino, based on that stanza:
"The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night. The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The “katakataka” (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. “Katakataka” is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines."

The University of the Philippines is a state university and is considered, if not the best, one of the best in the country. UP Diliman is it's main campus located at Quezon City, Philippines.

Linking this to ABC Wednesday.

Jun 4, 2013

At KFC After Checkups

Now, this is a sign I wouldn't want to ignore, especially while in a restaurant and carrying my tray of food. 

My son's always excited to go to the doctor more so because he knows we'll go to KFC afterwards before we head home. He loves KFC chicken.  KFC's just across the hospital.

And before we head home, we always buy my sister something from KFC. 

Note: Taken at KFC after my son's monthly checkup, with my ever reliable Nokia phone (which take better photos than my digicam, by the way).

Jun 2, 2013

Friendship Through The Years

Finally done with work files. I'm taking the rest of this Sunday off and I'm going to be super lazy today.  It's just two Sundays away from my kids' school opening and I am so not ready yet. I'm already stressed out by the thought of it. So I'm just going to enjoy what's left of today.

Meanwhile, it's one my best friend's birthday. Her name is Jonna and we've been friends since high school. She's one of the humblest person I know. She's a beautiful person and so talented. She can sing and she can play the piano as she had been taking piano lessons when we were in high school. I don't know if she's still playing the piano now or what she'd think of a yamaha p95. We don't see each other anymore. The last time we saw each other was last year and yet I was just a couple of rides away from her. 

Despite of this, our friendship have lasted through the years. We don't see each other, but I know she's there for me. When we do see each other, it's like we've never been apart. We only text each other during special occasions. And that's what we don't forget, to greet each other on special occassions. My best friend and I know that there's a bond between us that could never be broken nor taken from us and that's the bond of friendship, respect and acceptance of each other. Happy birthday, best!